Lauded nationwide final yr for his no-nonsense coronavirus briefings, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was clinging to his political life Wednesday as prosecutors opened felony inquiries into sexual harassment allegations towards the highly effective Democrat.
As Donald Trump sowed chaos final spring, Cuomo’s televised pandemic press conferences comforted Individuals and even led to clamor for a presidential run, however the 63-year-old now finds himself a political pariah.
New York state meeting Democrats are poised to finish an impeachment inquiry quickly whereas 4 district attorneys are pursuing felony investigations after Tuesday’s bombshell report discovered Cuomo sexually harassed a number of ladies.
“In case you assault a lady, you do one thing towards her will sexually, that is felony. I believe he needs to be charged,” New York Mayor Invoice de Blasio, a Democrat, advised CBS on Wednesday.
The investigation concluded that Cuomo engaged in “unwelcome and non-consensual touching and making quite a few feedback of a suggestive sexual nature that created a hostile work setting for girls.”
It detailed allegations by 11 ladies that painted “an image of a sample of abusive conduct by Cuomo and his senior employees,” mentioned state Legal professional Normal Letitia James mentioned, asserting the findings.
The three-term governor got here out preventing. He mentioned he’d by no means touched anybody inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances and prompt he wouldn’t step down in a pre-recorded assertion.
However strain continued to construct on Cuomo Wednesday as prosecutors in Manhattan, Westchester, and Lengthy Island joined these in Albany in opening a felony inquiry and requesting paperwork from James’s investigation, which was solely civil in nature.
The Westchester case pertains to an allegation that Cuomo inappropriately touched a state trooper assigned to his protecting element on her abdomen and hip.
“I can see a a number of counts of forcible touching and presumably sexual abuse — all misdemeanors,” Julie Rendelman, a former Brooklyn prosecutor, advised AFP.
Cuomo has politics in his blood — his father Mario Cuomo served three phrases because the Democratic governor of New York state between 1983 and 1994 — and is unlikely to go quietly.
He has lengthy been a part of the Democratic Social gathering’s reasonable institution: in 1990, Cuomo married Kerry Kennedy — daughter of the late US Legal professional Normal Robert Kennedy. They divorced 15 years later.
Cuomo acquired reward for pushing by the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York in 2011 and for elevating the state’s minimal wage to $15 in December 2019.
However he has more and more clashed with left-wing progressives within the celebration in recent times who’ve lengthy accused him of governing with hectoring, bulldog-like ways.
Allies, together with President Joe Biden, Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi and New York Metropolis’s doubtless subsequent mayor, Eric Adams, shortly abandoned him following the explosive report.
And on Wednesday The New York Instances editorial board known as on him to stop.
“He desires to outlive as a result of the one factor that issues to Andrew Cuomo is being governor of New York,” Lincoln Mitchell, a politics professional at Columbia College, advised AFP.
“However he will have a troublesome time when the President of the US, who’s the chief of your celebration, says that he ought to now not be in workplace.”
After Cuomo made it clear he had no plans to step down voluntarily, the Democratic speaker of New York’s state meeting, Carl Heastie, mentioned an impeachment investigation can be concluded “as shortly as attainable.”
“He can now not stay in workplace,” Heastie mentioned.
If the decrease home meeting approves impeachment articles, which now appears all however sure, Cuomo would turn out to be the primary New York governor to be impeached in additional than a century.
Cuomo would doubtless need to briefly step down as members of the senate and a number of other judges preside over the trial. At the very least two thirds of jurors should vote to convict to completely take away him from workplace.
Though he has not formally introduced a run, Cuomo is believed to covet a fourth time period as governor, to surpass his father.
(Aside from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is revealed from a syndicated feed.)